“I’m a Teenager. Are the Symptoms of ADHD Different for Me than Kids?”

Posted by on Jan 6, 2018 in Ask The Therapist | 0 comments


Many teens and/or their parents ask if ADHD looks different in children vs. teens. Although the “standard” symptoms of ADHD are the same for everyone, children through adults, teens show their symptoms in some very specific ways.

Here is a checklist of ADHD symptoms for teens. If you (or your child) meet 4 or more criteria, it might be a good idea to seek a professional evaluation for ADHD. One of the main symptoms of
ADHD in children, hyperactivity, greatly drops off by the time one reaches adolescence. Outward hyperactivity is sometimes replaced by more of an “internal” feeling of hyperactivity; this has been described as “restlessness” or feeling like you have to be doing something all the time.


Signs of ADHD in Teens:

  • Has trouble getting organized and setting priorities
  • Has a tough time getting started on homework and other assigned tasks
  • “Spaces out” when listening to someone or doing assigned reading
  • Often needs to re-read information or ask people to repeat what they’ve said because it doesn’t stick the first time
  • Has trouble staying focused
  • Often gets sidetracked from tasks, unless they are doing something that is especially interesting to them
  • Often rushes through assignments or produces messy work with lots of errors
  • Often seems to be working well below their potential in school or on homework
  • Has trouble remembering information when it’s needed
  • Struggles to recall facts during tests, when they studied and seemed to know the night before
  • Has trouble remembering day-to-day things
  • Often forgets to write down assignments or keep track of stuff
  • Often acts/speaks impulsively



Written by Diane Heidorf, M.A., LPCC

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *